Local growth deals need wider skills

7th July 2014

The Government’s announcement of £6bn of investment in local growth deals is a first step towards the greater localism of skills policy in England as advocated by NIACE in its recent manifesto Skills for Prosperity: Building Sustainable Recovery for All.

Carol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“These local growth deals for Local Enterprise Partnerships are an important step forward for the localism agenda. The variety of learning and skills projects that this funding will support in localities across the country is a useful start. However, we would like to see skills at the heart of regional growth and a wider variety of programmes funded which would support more adults to progress at work and in life.

“Lifelong learning not only helps people become more employable and therefore boosts the economy, it all increases people’s confidence, improves their physical and mental health and ensures that parents have the skills to help their children to learn and ultimately succeed. In order for individuals, localities and the nation to reap the wider benefits of lifelong learning, partnership working in each locality is vital to ensure this funding is invested effectively and efficiently. To ensure that investment works, learning providers and employers must work together so that adults get the learning and training they both want and need. This kind of partnership working is essential, but not always easy. Leadership at local level is therefore crucial to not only coordinate these local growth deals, but to make sure the system is flexible and responsive to the needs of everyone.”